ORANGE PARK – The Thrasher-Horne Center is raising money to continue its pursuit of the arts in Clay County, and after just a few months it’s more than halfway to its goal.
Thrasher-Horne celebrated its 15th anniversary of shows last month, and the team set a goal to raise $100,000 to raise awareness and to continue its support of the arts in Clay County.
More than $60,000 has been raised since July.
“The idea behind it is that we haven’t been so focused on that (raising funds) over the past few years and we’re wanting to rekindle the community’s interest,” Thrasher-Horne Center Executive Director Anna Zirbel said. “We want them to know that this is here, and this is a great way to be able to support the arts for Clay County and for our residents because arts and culture is a great asset for us and a great tool for our quality of life here.”
This fundraiser benefits the Thrasher-Horne Endowment, which created before the center was opened, Zirbel said. This fundraiser enhances the endowment.
The interest from the endowment will be used to help fund additional programs to the center’s already-stacked lineup of shows. Shows already booked include concerts by Clint Black, .38 Special, the Curt Towne Band, comedian Bill Engvall, Riders in the Sky, the Young Irelanders and Craig A. Meyer’s Elton John Tribute.
Zirbel said the center plans to continue its fundraising efforts beyond this year but the current goal is to raise $100,000 by the end of the center’s 15th season, which ends in May 2020.
The center has received funds from different people and organizations but one private donor, who Zirbel said is a Clay County resident, helped kickstart the launch with a generous donation. To continue that support, the Thrasher-Horne Center is hosting a key signature dinner event on Oct. 25.
“This event is a night to support the arts for Thrasher-Horne Center,” Zirbel said. “We’ve got a night plated dinner, a cocktail hour and we’ll also have show posters that have been autographed over the years that will be auctioned off.”
These posters include unique items like a 2008 Annie production poster signed by the original creator, a Sawyer Brown poster signed by the band and a poster signed by Mike Love and Bruce Johnston of The Beach Boys.
Donors can look forward to more than the signature dinner. Zirbel said the center’s donor wall is set to be redone.
“We are actually going to be redoing our donor wall and at the dinner, we’ll be doing a reveal of what that wall is going to look like,” she said.
Donors already posted will be transferred to the new wall, joining a list of new donors.
“We appreciate the community’s support,” Zirbel said. “We have support from our local county government, the college (St. Johns River State College) that owns and operates this and of course the businesses and people that have come out and sponsored us, people who have purchased memberships and subscriptions, just everything.
“It’s that local support that shows that we’re providing something for the community that they’re happy with and we want to keep that going.”